It’s a genius idea that with hindsight we can’t believe took 200 years to come up with: an ice rink in the grounds of Brighton’s most beautifully ornate landmark. Now it looks like it’s here to stay, or at least for a couple of months every winter. Having worked up an appetite on the ice, we thought we should try out the food.
It’s not a huge menu but there are enough classics on here for most people. We go for a steak (£14.50) and even before it hits the table we can see how beautifully presented it is. The rib-eye is smoky and soft and it’s almost a shame to mask it with the tangy Béarnaise sauce. The salad is just-out-the-field fresh and the chips are astounding. Crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy all the way through to the centre, this is real Heston Blumenthal shit. The lamb gets similar approval – cooked just as we ask, even though that’s the chef-unfriendly ‘well done’. Even when we turn up our noses at the beetroot dauphinoise potatoes they’re happy to swap for the mash on another dish. There’s plenty of that and some lovely crisp vegetables, which could only be better if there was more. Puddings are £6.50 but if you’re keen to treat yourself the chocolate fondant is small but rich, and so gooey inside while the sticky toffee pudding comes with clotted cream ice cream that’s very clotted creamy – high praise from our Devonian reviewer.
It’s not particularly cheap but that’s for a reason. There’s so much love gone into this food that it’s a proper restaurant experience. And the atmosphere is wonderful – as long as you’re on the ice skating side, rather than the floodlight side like we were.
WERE WE SUSSED
Oh yes, very much so. One of the managers recognised us from her Pav Tav days but we managed to get the main course in before she spotted us. The waitress was still getting to know the menu but couldn’t have been more helpful before or after we were unmasked.
4 Pavilion Buildings
07530 524 964
Monday to Sunday 10pm-12.30am